2019 Rangers Player Report Card: Tony DeAngelo

Tony DeAngelo came into this season presumably fighting for his Rangers career. The supremely talented defenseman had to conquer his attitude and off-ice issues to be a legitimate contributor on this club. David Quinn was the coach hired to do just that – coach and train his players not just to be better players, but to be better NHLers and professionals. For DeAngelo, growth off the ice was more important than growth on the ice.

Luckily for the Blueshirts, he did just that. After spending a good chunk of the first half of the season as a healthy scratch, DeAngelo finally stuck in the lineup and eventually skated in 61 games for the Blueshirts. He finished with a line of 4-26-30, tops among defensemen and sixth on the team. Not too shabby for someone who didn’t play the full season.

DeAngelo’s biggest issue on the ice was going to be his defensive zone play, with the mentality that his offensive play will certainly outweigh his defensive mistakes and he will be a net-positive on the ice. At a 48.07 xGF%, on the surface it looks to be a true statement. Breaking this down we get a team leading (by a mile) 3.04 xGF/60, which is just truly great. His 2.55 xGA/60 is actually better than I thought it would be, but still is 5th on the team. Only Marc Staal and Neal Pionk were worse defensively. But for DeAngelo, the offense is worth the defensive shortcomings.

Getting the most out of DeAngelo’s offense while limiting his defensive miscues is a must for Quinn going forward. Luckily, we can see how DeAngelo fared with his defense partners.

DeAngelo spent most of his time with Staal, much to DeAngelo’s detriment in terms of overall shot rates. He did significantly better when paired with Brady Skjei for 319 minutes, and towards the end of the season it looked like that pair was clicking well. It may not be the top pairing on defense that we hope for, but DeAngelo and Skjei complement each other nicely, and both are great skaters. Hopefully we get more than 300 minutes of ice time to see if they can do better than just tread water.

With DeAngelo, he’s going to be the next powerplay QB once Kevin Shattenkirk’s contract is up, or he is traded. So let’s focus on how DeAngelo runs the man advantage.

What I find to be interesting about DeAngelo’s presence on the powerplay is less about shots from where DeAngelo is on the ice, and more about the heavy concentration of shots from in front. This is only 117 minutes of powerplay time though, so it’s to be taken with a grain of salt. The big number to look at is the threat percentage, which is 10% above league average when DeAngelo is on the ice. It is worth noting, though, that DeAngelo received PP1 time with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider.

Without DeAngelo is a significantly larger sample size of 253 minutes, and we see a whopping 25% swing in threat level to an anemic -15%. This is certainly a positive for DeAngelo, showing that he had a significant impact on the powerplay in such a small amount of time. This does, however, take credibility away from Shattenkirk, who was primarily on PP2 once DeAngelo stuck in the lineup.

With DeAngelo, the expectation was that his offense would cover up his defensive issues and be an overall net positive. That was certainly the case, and I think it’s safe to say the kid exceeded expectations, both on and off the ice. Perhaps Quinn got through to him. Perhaps the kid grew up. It’s likely both, but it bodes well for the Ranges.

Grade: A-

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  • ADA’s O is exceptional, his D is not, but if the D part comes around, even to decent, then we have a top pair D man.

    And that’s why if it comes down to him or Shatty, if the Rangers get a Trouba or Hamilton type, then Shatty has to go.

  • he was a bright spot last season, interesting how the on ice performance improves along side the off ice performance. As for his D play, it’s not his strength however, his positioning was better this season and although he needs work, the trajectory is moving in the right direction. As for his points total , sort of like with Kreider, there were plenty of times he made the play and did not get a point. I know you guys hate +/- too but he was +6 this year in a bad team, first time he’s been plus in his pro career

    • I agree that his positioning looked good most of the time. His issues tended to be with strength. Either not being able to control his guy from getting to the rebound, or losing board battles.
      Hopefully a summer of training and another year of growth improves that, even though we know he’ll never be a crusher.

  • All you have to do to fix ADA’s D is keep him from chasing above the dots for now, then lengthen the leash.

    Hard rules on D, minimal rules on O.

  • I’m of the opinion that of all on the defense, and not being the most sound defensive player, ADA may well still be our best defenseman. He had issues on, and off the ice, but I believe he has grown up before our eyes. DQ was a defenseman, he’s a teacher, just take the kid under his wing and teach the subtilties of the position to the kid.

    Now with the addition of Adam Fox, and the possibility of a Trouba coming down the pike, our right side will be in good hands. The left has plenty of potential with Skjei, Hajek, Lindgren in the system. There are other kids in the pipeline who will challenge for a spot in the near future, so the main issue is how do we shed ourselves of Staal, Shatty, and Smith? It may be another year down the road, but I can see all three gone to greener pastures.

    It appears that the Stepan deal is starting to pay dividends for us!!!

  • I am not quite as generous of a grader as David, but there is little difference from my B+ for Tony than his A-.

    The kid made a vast improvement as the season went on and finally proved that the faith many had in his abillities was not misplaced. While his defensive zone play needs work, he is starting to get it. As he was given more and more ice time his confidence improved and his offense, especially his passing, became quite good. As long as Tony keeps his emotions in check, the sandpaper aspect of his game is welcome on this team too.

    Overall, I have high hopes that his maturation into a credible NHL defender continues. Quinn deserves a lot of credit, and so does ADA.

  • A+ for ADA….Kid has the tools and he swing a paw at you…I hated DQ early last year when ADA was in the press box and Pionk had an eternal leash….same with Buch buried and Jesper friggin Fast on the top line

  • Whether you like Tony D or not, the simple truth is that if we had 3 players like him on D, we would be improved. Gorton has a tough road ahead of him, moving Shatty or Smith. He may need to move Pionk, who may have more value to others. Either way, we have a logjam of mediocrity at the blueline that needs to vastly improve.

  • Like Peter suggests I’m more inclined to give him a B+ than an A-, but they’re virtually the same grade. I grade him hard because I think there are still levels to unlock in his game, both offensively and defensively. That said I don’t believe his defensive game is as bad as some suggest.

    Last note, I say sign him long term now … with the addition of Fox to the right side I think they’ll make a fine 1-2 punch —- especially on the PP.

  • The fact that Pionk makes more money than TD is criminal….TD may never be a penalty killer but he has elite ability moving the puck

  • I had did some simple power play computations this season. Basically goals per 60 when each player is on the ice. Among those players with any significant PP time, the best player was Neal Pionk and the worst was Kevin Shattenkirk. ADA was closer to Shattenkirk than Pionk and well below average. So maybe the threat level is higher when DeAngelo is on the ice, but the goals are not. [The guys closest to Pionk were as you would expect guys like Zib and Zuc.]

    Offensive contribution is nice, but defensemen must be able to play defense. ADA’s scoring contribution does not warrant overlooking defensive miscues. So far, DQ essentially trusts ADA defensively not at all and a defenseman who cannot earn any trust is not very valuable. So while I would agree with the grade given here (I was delighted with his play), I am not yet convinced he is a keeper.

    That said, I personally did not see any major defect in his defensive play. He seems to care about playing defense and there does not seem to be any limitation keeping him from doing a good job. In short, I see no reason why he cannot be a lot better defensively than he is — and then he becomes a big plus.

    • I think that for DeAngelo it is just a matter of experience and comfort on the power play that seems to make him less dynamic thus far with a man advantage than he is 5 on 5. Where he makes deft and sometimes brilliant passes at even strength, he seems more hesitant when they are on the power play. He probably is overthinking it. Because of his skills I believe that he will solve that with more power play time.

    • You might want to look at the time spent on 1st PP unit versus the 2nd. Pionk played a lot with the 1st unit through the first half of the season, I think in part that explains some of the discrepancy.

      • No doubt true, BUT Pionk had better numbers than the first unit guys and ADA and Shatttenkirk had worse numbers than the second unit guys.

      • Dave that’s not civil….Hence I said I think…I don’t read a shred of analytics….couldn’t even tell you what they mean….If Ray said Pionks analytics say hes good….I say that’s why analytics are misleading…because Pionk is not good…I Don’t know you read that any other way…As for Fast I read prob on the banter site someone pointing out Fast analytics and how they were better than Mika etc….As long as Fast is on the 4th line I’m fine with him

          • Yes…I dont care what the charts and graphs say….Thats not what got us to Cup and Conference finals……. Most of us know Pionk doesn’t belong in the NHL…so if he has some spreadsheet making him look good that is misleading to me….I don’t mind if analytics is used as a small tool….but the game is still played on the ice

        • Let us be clear. I did not say Pionk had good analytics, at least not I the sense that people around here mean them. I used very old school statistics. I simply divided the number of PP goals scored when a player was on the ice by the amount of time the player was on the ice.

          Old school stats are inferior to analytics in that they are based on smaller samples and so have more sample size error. They are superior to analytics in that they don’t leave stuff out.

          There is also a difference between being a good hockey player and being an effective power play quarterback. Defensive skills are not so important for one thing (and totally unimportant if one just counts goals for as I did). Also, there is a big difference between carrying a puck up ice (which DeAngelo is good at) and managing a set offense. And in fact even zone entries on the power play differ from zone entries at even strength.

  • A- or B+, splitting hairs. Yep he is a gifted offensive D-man, yep his defense needs some work (hey he’s still learning), but no one here can dispute he was one of the, if not THE most physical players we dressed regularly last season. At least he understands that the goalie’s job is much easier when they can actually SEE the puck, and he helps in that aspect by actually clearing the crease. He’s nasty, and that’s a good thing as long as he controls that emotion. I’m with Dave, A- and wish Dave graded my Calculus exams……………………

  • Speaking of defensemen, Moritz Seider with the #20 pick? Huges or Kappo at 2 and Seider at 20 would be a great first round.

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